Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Gardeners World Live 50th Birthday

My First ever gardening show of any kind!

Wow, what a day and experience it turned out to be! The 3 hour journey (starting at 6am) was so worth it. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived, but what greeted me as I entered through the gates completely overwhelmed me. Once me and mum studied the map and got our bearings we headed over to the show gardens. I literally gasped! I had seen them on telly and social media leading up to Sunday but you cant help but feel in awe of the skills and thought processes that go into creating these wonderful gardens that put a huge smile on everyone's faces. There was inspiration for everyone whether you wanted something peaceful & tranquil, practical & space savvy to bold & vibrant or wildlife friendly.

Show Gardens

I had 2 favourites. The 1st was the Anniversary Gardens(By Prof.David Stevens)

The gardens were a real walk down memory lane.I remember some parts of my Nanna & Grandads garden being very similar as well as the garden from my childhood days. They were real family gardens that brought back fond memories.

My second favourite had to be the beautiful 'Romance in the Ruins' (Claudia de Yong for Wyevale Garden Centres).

This really did take my breath away! I loved how it was all so soft not just to the eyes but touch too. It was so natural. No harsh structures or industrial materials. The gentle trickle of water coming down the ruin was a perfect song to guide you under the romantic rustic arches that were surrounded by gentle kisses of pink & purple hues. The whole garden just flowed so peacefully allowing you to take in everything it had to offer. The little benches that were tucked into gorgeous spots offered beautiful angles to gaze upon & spot the hidden creatures. A truly lovely heart warming piece of paradise.

One thing I loved about all the gardens was how relatable they were. They could easily be recaptured back home in our very own gardens. There wasnt anything that was too over the top. They were real homely gardens, exactly how they should be.

The Dominators

I noticed how dominant grasses were in many of the displays. There were so many varieties used that either added softness and height or broke up bolder plants and added texture. I fell in love badly with them and bought two fabulous Stipa Ponytails. Also featured just about everywhere(even in little posies on tables) was the beautiful Astrantia. With plenty of shades to pick from I opted for 'Moulin Rouge' a gentle nod to one of mine & Hubby's favourite love film.

So much Choice!

The Floral Marquee was very dangerous territory! I was like a child in a sweetshop. A massive variety of plants on very impressive displays and also to purchase too. I only wish I had bought the rose that caught my eye when I first saw it. Sadly I missed out when we went back round again, but I am sure we will cross paths again. I did however pick up the beautiful Salvia 'Love&Wishes' used in the 'Romance in the Ruins' garden in the hope to have a little reminder of its beauty.

Beautiful Borders & Barrows

We had a wander outside were we went around the fantastic 'Meal in a Barrow' displays. What an amazing idea and inspired way to get children involved with growing from scratch & learning essential skills that should be compulsory! We then marvelled at the Beautiful Borders. They were definitely a collection of celebrations that were all delightful in their own way. You could really see and feel the past & present throughout. A lovely tribute to celebrate 50 wonderful years of Gardeners world.

An unexpected surprise!

The day was so hot we had to head inside to cool off. We couldn't have timed it any better as we noticed a big gathering around the Potting Shed stage. To my delight & surprise out stepped Monty Don!! I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I got completely star struck. I couldn't believe that little old me was stood watching him in the flesh. He was so honest with how he feels about stepping into such a prestigious role, but I think he definitely holds his own and is a pleasure to watch along with Nigel and Nellie of course! I even got to watch the Skinny Jean Gardener in action on the Vegtrug stage being fabulously energetic and getting the children involved from the audience!

Sad Goodbye but....

After such an amazing day being swept along in the atmosphere and even meeting some lovely guys from Twitter & Gardentags ( Annabelle @Lifeatno27 and Kim Johnson aka Jonners73) it was sadly time to make the journey back home. As sad as I felt about leaving, my heart was full of happiness and ignited with more passion and inspiration! Gardening truly is my therapy and makes me so happy. I hope that others will feel inspired to get into their gardens and embrace everything it has to offer!

Until next time

N x

Friday, 2 June 2017

A time to reflect

How on earth did that happen? I'm pretty sure I blinked and very much missed an entire month!! May was a full on challenging month to say the least. Me and Hubby sadly lost his Mum on the 2nd of May aged 54, which as you can imagine just threw everything up in the air. Its amazing how much there is to sort out in these sad and tough situations in life even though Josie was a very impressive organised lady!! It certainly puts a lot of perspective on your own lives too, just when you think you had it all figured out! 

Josie 1962-2017

One thing that definitely hasn't changed much (actually its grown even stronger) is how much time I ended up just sitting in the garden be it Josie's or my own and appreciated it all so much more. There were moments when being in the house was too much or as soon as I was up in the morning I'd take my coffee out with me where the garden gave me the space to reflect or clear my head to deal with the up and coming challenges about to be thrown at us. The garden was and still is a very welcome escapism and I managed to find the strength to tend to it. Sowing seeds, weeding, potting on seedlings, mowing, photographing plants and dreaming up potential projects(Some nods to Josie) has been a great therapy and made me even MORE passionate about gardening!!

Sowing & Potting on
Stewart Park-Middlesbrough
Incy Wincy Spider
Armeria (Sea Thrift)
Maximus & his Dahlia

Bumblebee enjoying Lavender
Tree in Stewart Park-Middlesbrough 

Some shots of life's simple but greatest pleasures (And most are FREE!!)

So what else could I do other than tweet and write this blog to share my passion and inspire others? I decided to set up my own Facebook Page, I made a little video of Me and my little boy Maximus planting Dahlia's and I have created a hastag #greenteesside to try and encourage the great people of Teesside to embrace and showcase our surroundings, be it in the local parks, our back gardens or the beautiful countryside. Life is too short & precious! And what better way to nurture it all than by getting into the garden/outdoors and help create and care for the basic things in life that have such a huge impact on it both physically and mentally!!

So I thank you Josie for being the great woman that you were and thank you for the 'do what makes you happy' attitude. 

Gardening certainly makes me happy & I will use it as a positive force to encourage others.

Until next time

N xx

Dedicated to Josie Walker 1962-2017